RUGBY TOWN: Lights switch on ceremony as Worcester City visit on Saturday

Sam Lockley in last week's 2-1 win at Long Eaton    PICTURES BY MARTIN PULLEY
Sam Lockley in last week's 2-1 win at Long Eaton PICTURES BY MARTIN PULLEY

Valley up to sixth after last weekend’s win at Long Eaton

Rugby Town will be looking to maintain their good form of late, when Worcester City visit Butlin Road this Saturday for a game in which the club’s new floodlights will be officially commissioned by VIP guests Rugby MP Mark Pawsey and Cllr Belinda Garcia, Mayor of Rugby.

Sam Belcher was a physical presence in midfield at the weekend

Sam Belcher was a physical presence in midfield at the weekend

The new light system has been operational since September, but the official switching on ceremony is planned to take place during half-time of Saturday’s MFL fixture when Valley will be looking for a fourth victory on the trot – as part of a run of just one defeat in their last ten league outings.

Valley’s 2-1 success at Long Eaton lifted them up a place in the Premier Division table to sixth – one place (and three points) behind this weekend’s visitors, who last time out ended their own run of five MFL games without a loss with a 5-3 reverse at home to fellow promotion chasers Sporting Khalsa.

David Kolodynski extended his season’s tally to twenty goals with Town’s first at Grange Park and maintains his three goal lead over fellow striker Ruben Wiggins-Thomas – who was also on target in the Derbyshire win.

Rugby will face Worcester for the first time in a league encounter since the 1995/96 campaign, when the two sides played out a goal-less draw in the Butlin Road Southern League Premier Division in October before Valley suffered a 4-0 April defeat in the reverse fixture shortly ahead of their relegation from that level.

James Dance clears against Long Eaton

James Dance clears against Long Eaton

Town have subsequently suffered two FA Cup exits at the hands of their presently homeless opponents, with a Third Qualifying Round replay 2-0 defeat in 2013 the last time City visited Butlin Road.

Worcester currently play their home games at fellow MFL side Bromsgrove Sporting’s Victoria Ground - having prior to that lodged at Kidderminster’s Aggborough Stadium, and they find themselves in this structure after taking a further two level drop on top of their relegation from the National League North Division at the end of last season.

Town boss Dave Stringer should have a full squad to choose from for Saturday’s top six encounter, with Josh Ruff hopefully back available again after the midfielder was unavailable for the Long Eaton trip.

Defender Mason Rowley continues to progress well in his rehabilitation from the broken leg he suffered nearly five months ago. Rowley has started light training and has also joined up with the rest of the squad in pre-match drills in recent weeks.

Stringer commented: “It is great to have Mason back involved again, he still needs to build up the strength on his leg and get fully involved in contact stuff in training. Of course we won’t be rushing things, but we will possibly look at getting him some game time somewhere soon and then hopefully back in a Town shirt not long after that.”

Town are home again the following weekend, when another of the division’s top teams Bromsgrove visit Butlin Road on February 10th, before they embark on a four game away run – which starts with a trip to Quorn on the 17th.

# Town’s four new floodlight columns replace the previous eight pillar network which provided thirty four years service, with the new system significantly improving lux readings.

The club was awarded a FA Stadia Improvement Fund to cover 50% of the costs of the £59,000 installation project, with an additional contribution of more than £2,500 coming from individual donations from a supporters’ Just Giving fundraising initiative.